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New Orleans, Vol. 2

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Album Review

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, after its formation in the early '60s, helped spread the joy of New Orleans jazz around the world. Unfortunately, the musicianship tended to be quite erratic, and by the 1980s it could be somewhat embarrassing at times. Certainly the band was full of joyous spirits, and the rhythm section (pianist James Miller, banjoist Narvin Kimball, Allan Jaffe on tuba and drummer Cie Frazier) was often quite driving. However the frontline of trumpeter Percy Humphrey, clarinetist Willie Humphrey and trombonist Frank Demond was rather weak and erratic at best at this point, so the ensembles tended to be better than the solos. Still, fans of revival New Orleans jazz who do not mind clams and shaky moments should be able to enjoy this music.

Biography

Formed: 1961 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although New Orleans' traditional jazz scene had many top players in the 1950s, there was no one center for the city's veteran greats to play. In 1961, local art dealer Larry Borenstein opened a building in the French Quarter called Preservation Hall. The young tuba player Allan Jaffe ran the hall and organized tours for the musicians who often performed there, naming the band after the venue. In the Hall's early days, the key musicians included, at various times, trumpeters Kid Thomas Valentine,...
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